Announcing the Russell Walker CP, LP Emerging Leader Grant Program

Published in Orthotics & Prosthetics on February 01, 2022

updated 2/11/22

Grant ProgramOPGA and Össur are excited to partner together to offer the Russell Walker, CP, LP Emerging Leader Grant Program. The winner of the grant will be announced on Thursday, March 3 at 4:30 p.m. in the Össur booth #205 at the AAOP Annual Meeting.

Russell Walker, CP, LP was a compassionate leader at ProCare Prosthetics & Orthotics. Teaching was one of his strongest skills. While he was in pursuit of a teaching career, he discovered the O&P profession and in doing so, he found a career that suited him immensely. O&P allowed him to use his love of teaching and mentoring in a different manner, through developing residents. He particularly poured his knowledge and expertise into ProCare’s resident program. Through supporting students in hands-on patient care experiences, his knowledge and love for the profession spread to others entering the field. 

In August 2019, Rusty was diagnosed with Clear Cell Sarcoma, which originated in a tumor in his foot. The cancer caused Rusty to become a below-the-knee amputee. His coworker and previous resident developed his prosthesis and supported him through his 16-month healing journey. He adored the fact that one of his own residents helped him walk again. On December 26, 2020, Rusty passed away. He will always be remembered in the hearts and minds of his family, friends, and patients.  

To honor his impact on the O&P profession and its residents, Össur and OPGA are privileged to provide the Russell Walker Emerging Leader Grant. This grant program is designed to provide annual funding to a current O&P resident to attend and participate in two different events that are outside of the clinical setting but are highly important to the O&P profession and the patients it serves: 

  1. AOPA Policy Forum: This event gathers people from the profession to Washington D.C. for a two-day meeting, including one day of meetings with their state’s legislative contingency to advocate for better policies affecting O&P. 
  2. The Annual Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Triathlon Challenge, held in San Diego: It is the mission of the CAF to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. The CAF believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence, and enhances quality of life. 

The nomination period has closed. The winner of the Russell Walker Emerging Leader Grant will be announced at Academy

From Our Experts

A Letter From the President, Adam Miller: January 2023 thumbnail A Letter From the President, Adam Miller: January 2023 As we look ahead to the new year, I wanted to share a few of my top priorities for OPGA this year. The State of O&P: Current and Future Research Initiatives thumbnail The State of O&P: Current and Future Research Initiatives As practitioners continue to provide evidence to the value of prescribing and providing O&P to patients, practitioners continue to further scientific research New Year's Update on the Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetic Patient-Centered Care Act thumbnail New Year's Update on the Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetic Patient-Centered Care Act Now that 2023 has started, it is time to rethink and revise the Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetic Patient-Centered Care Act. Sadly, it was not included in the Omnibus package at the end of 2022; however, over this past year there was a lot of progress shown on improving the bill. The State of O&P: Government Regulation Issues, Concerns, and Associations and Organizations thumbnail The State of O&P: Government Regulation Issues, Concerns, and Associations and Organizations The operations of O&P practices are subject to a variety of federal, state, and local governmental regulations. Failure to comply with applicable governmental regulations may result in significant penalties, including exclusion from the Medicare and Medicaid programs. O&P Grant Application Period Now Open thumbnail O&P Grant Application Period Now Open OPGA and Össur have announced the application period is now open for two grants available for individuals in O&P. The State of O&P: Demand, Forecasting, Statistics, and Workforce Projections thumbnail The State of O&P: Demand, Forecasting, Statistics, and Workforce Projections Further fueling demand and growth for the wider O&P market are advancements in robotic prosthetics. In the U.S., an increase in trauma cases and rates of diabetes is leading to increased numbers of amputations. A Letter from the President, Adam Miller: December 2022 thumbnail A Letter from the President, Adam Miller: December 2022 As I look forward to 2023, I reflect on what OPGA's role is in the profession and how we can continue to bring value to our members and partners. The State of O&P: Growth Trajectory thumbnail The State of O&P: Growth Trajectory The O&P profession is growing in the United States. Approximately $4.3 billion is spent in the U.S. each year for prescription-based O&P products and services through O&P clinics. The demand will continue to grow.